China tech firm joins Geely, Toyota in push for self-drive cars

July 05,2019

Toyota e-Pallet

THE top search engine operator in China has partnered with Chinese carmaker Geely and Japan’s Toyota in developing artificial intelligence (AI) systems for autonomous cars, news agency Reuters reported on Thursday.

Baidu, Inc. already has its Apollo self-driving platform, as well as government approval to test self-driving vehicles on some city streets, Reuters said.

It added that under the partnership, Baidu will provide Apollo Minibus, a software product for autonomous bus vehicles, to Toyota’s e-Palette vehicles in the future. Baidu will also work with the carmaker in exploring more uses of autonomous driving technologies, the news agency quoted Li Zhenyu, Baidu vice-president in charge of intelligent driving, as saying.

With Geely, Baidu will cooperate in AI applications such as intelligent connectivity and smart mobility, Baidu CEO Robin Li and Geely Chairman Li Shufu said at Baidu Create 2019, a yearly gathering where the company shows its advances in AI.

China, the world’s largest auto market, is at the forefront of this push for automation and is keen to have its own players to compete with global leaders such as Tesla and Waymo, the self-driving arm of Google parent Alphabet.

Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, have previously announced local guidelines for self-driving tests, according to Reuters.

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